Cleveland (WOIO) - Browns linebacker Scott Fujita's suspension for his alleged role in the Saints' bounty scandal has been reduced by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Fujita was originally suspended three games, but on Tuesday afternoon, it was changed to just one game, this week's game against the Bengals at the stadium.
After the original suspension of three games, Fujita and three other players appealed their suspensions and won their appeals. Tuesday, Goodell and the NFL re-issued their punishments.
In a letter to Fujita, Goodell wrote:
"While I have not found that you directly contributed to the bounty pool, there is no serious question that you were aware of the pool and its elements, including that it provided rewards for cart-offs.
"I am surprised and disappointed by the fact that you, a former defensive captain and a passionate advocate for player safety, ignored such a program and permitted it to continue. You made clear to me that participation in the program was voluntary and that other players could have refused to participate, as you claim to have done. If you had spoken up, perhaps other players would have refused to participate and the consequences with which we are now dealing could have been avoided."
No word on if the Browns linebacker will appeal the decision.
The NFLPA also released a statement on the newly issued suspensions:
For more than six months, the NFL has ignored the facts, abused the process outlined in our collective bargaining agreement and failed to produce evidence that the players intended to injure anyone, ever. The only evidence that exists is the League's gross violation of fair due process, transparency and impartiality during this process. Truth and fairness have been the casualties of the league's refusal to admit that it might have made a mistake.
We will review this decision thoroughly and review all options to protect our players' rights with vigilance.
Two other players involved also had their suspensions reduced.
Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma's suspension is suspended for the rest of the season. Anthony Hargrove will be suspended for seven games.
Saints defensive end Will Smith's suspension stays the same at four games.
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